How Snow Affects Your Asphalt Pavement

December 13, 2018 11:50 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Winter brings cold, wet weather, be it wind, rain, snow or ice. Sometimes you remove snow or ice from your driveway, sidewalks, walkways or parking lot, while other times you let it be. But your asphalt surface is being put through the wringer every time it comes into contact with these elements—essentially, all winter long. Asphalt is put through freezing and thawing cycles, snow plows and deicing methods. So you can better protect your asphalt, there are a few things you need to know about the relationship between your pavement and harsh winter conditions.

Get ready to learn new things and take good notes! Here’s some information from an asphalt contractor in Washington about how snow affects your asphalt pavement.

Snow plows

Even though asphalt pavement surfaces are strong, scraping it has the potential to cause damage, even if it’s usually only minor. When it comes to commercial and municipal snowplows, machine operators typically set their plow blades at an appropriate height to avoid causing damage to existing smooth asphalt surfaces. If over time or after a particularly heavy winter you notice scrapes in your pavement, the sealer may be stripped back to the point where unsealed aggregate is exposed. Apply a proper sealcoat after snow has melted away to restore your pavement’s original luster.

Repeat freezing and thawing

The temperature fluctuations your area experiences during the winter months can take a serious toll on the condition of your asphalt pavement, as well as its appearance. Your first line of defense against freeze and thaw damage is proper structural design and installation of the pavement. Hire a professional asphalt repair crew to get your pavement ready to withstand harsh freezing and thawing cycles.


Icy pavement is unsafe. In winter, ice is a leading cause of slips and falls all around town and on residential properties. For safety’s sake, you might decide to use deicing agents like magnesium acetate, potassium acetate and salt, all of which work by lowering the freezing point of melting snow, ice and water on the surface. It’s recommended that deicers be used sparingly because they have a knack for damaging surfaces, and these agents can also have a negative impact on the environment. Before using any type of deicer, reach out to your asphalt contractor to find out what they’d recommend or discourage for your specific type of pavement.

Melting snow

Asphalt pavement naturally absorbs heat from the sun and can melt snow and ice quickly. While heat absorption is considered a benefit, there is a downside to these types of surfaces—fast melting can lead to rapid water runoff, water pooling and varying levels of flooding. However, this is not the case if you have porous asphalt. This environmentally conscious and sustainable paving solution allows water and melted snow and ice to drain through the asphalt.

Winter weather conditions can be a pain, but they shouldn’t cause problems for asphalt surfaces that are properly installed and maintained. Call Jimini Paving today to start working with an experienced asphalt contractor in Washington!

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